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Monaco tops Independent Game Festival Awards, full video inside

GDC 2010: Top-down four-player co-op game takes grand prize, design honors at indie celebration; Limbo lands visual and technical excellence categories.

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The Game Developers Conference's Independent Gaming Summit wrapped up yesterday, but indie developers weren't yet done with the show. In a ceremony preceding the night's Game Developer's Choice awards, Puzzlebots creator Erin Robinson and World of Goo cocreator Kyle Gabler doled out awards to the cream of the indie crop.

Monaco makes more sense when seen in motion.
Monaco makes more sense when seen in motion.

The night's big winner was Pocketwatch Games, as the developer received top honors for Monaco, a top-down, four-player co-operative heist game. Not only did the game win the Seumas McNally Grand Prize but also the Excellence in Design award. Playdead was another multiple-award winner, as the studio's striking black-and-white side-scroller Limbo came out on top in the Visual Art and Technical Excellence categories.

Upon receiving the Nuovo Award for experimental gameplay, Tuning developer Jonatan Soderstrom branched out into experimental award acceptance, taking the podium and staring at the audience in straight-faced, awkward silence. After a good 20 seconds, Soderstrom thanked Jesus and God, prompting laughter. Several additional moments of awkward silence later, Soderstrom finally left the stage.

As with shows from previous years, the formal proceedings were punctuated by skits from Mega64. One such skit starred Indie Man, who fights for the independent gaming community by sabotaging development of mainstream games while still in the design stage. According to Mega64, it was Indie Man's idea to make the Tony Hawk: Ride skateboard peripheral, to follow up The Beatles: Rock Band with a Green Day game, to charge $40 more for DJ Hero than it's actually worth, and to make New Super Mario Bros. Wii where players could bump into one another, inadvertently spelling doom for everyone involved.

Limbo won the Excellence in Visual Art category.
Limbo won the Excellence in Visual Art category.

The full list of IGF Award category and nominees follows below, with the winners in bold. Check back soon for archived video of the entire event, which was streamed live on GameSpot, along with the ongoing Game Developers Choice Awards.

Seumas McNally Grand Prize
Joe Danger (Hello Games)
Monaco (Pocketwatch Games)
Rocketbirds: Revolution! (Ratloop Asia)
Trauma (Krystian Majewski)
Super Meat Boy! (Team Meat)

Excellence In Visual Art
Shank (Klei Entertainment)
Owlboy (D-Pad Studios)
Trauma (Krystian Majewski)
Limbo (Playdead)
Rocketbirds: Revolution! (Ratloop Asia)

Excellence In Design
Miegakure (Marc Ten Bosch)
Star Guard (Sparky)
AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! - A Reckless Disregard For Gravity (Dejobaan Games)
Monaco (Pocketwatch Games)
Cogs (Lazy 8 Studios)

Excellence In Audio
Super Meat Boy! (Team Meat)
Shatter (Sidhe)
Closure (Closure Team)
Rocketbirds: Revolution! (Ratloop Asia)
Trauma (Krystian Majewski)

Technical Excellence
Closure (Closure Team)
Limbo (Playdead)
Heroes of Newerth (S2 Games)
Joe Danger (Hello Games)
Vessel (Strange Loop Games)

Nuovo Award
Today I Die (Daniel Benmergui)
A Slow Year (Ian Bogost)
Tuning (Cactus)
Closure (Closure Team)
Enviro-Bear 2000 (Justin Smith)

IGF Mobile Best Game
Glow Artisan (Powerhead Games, DSi)
Superbrothers: Sword & Sorcery EP (superbrothers + capy + jim guthrie, iPhone/iPod Touch)
Stair Dismount (Secret Exit, iPhone/iPod Touch)
Lilt Line (different cloth, iPhone/iPod Touch)
Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor (Tiger Style, iPhone/iPod Touch)

Student Showcase Award
Boryokudan Rue (UCLA)
Continuity (Chalmers University of Technology / University of Gothenburg)
Devil's Tuning Fork (DePaul University)
Dreamside Maroon (DigiPen Institute Of Technology)
Igneous (DigiPen Institute Of Technology)
Paper Cakes (Utrecht School of the Arts & USC)
Puddle (ENJMIN, France)
Puzzle Bloom (DADIU, Denmark)
Spectre (USC Interactive Media)
Ulitsa Dimitrova (Kunsthochschule Kassel, Germany)

Audience Award
Heroes of Newerth (S2 Games)

Direct 2 Drive Vision Award
HurricaneX2 (Nanjing YouYun)
Joe Danger (Hello Games)
NyxQuest: Kindred Spirits (Over the Top Games)
Super Meat Boy! (Team Meat)
Max & the Magic Marker (Press Play)

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